Veggie Black Bean Chili

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If you’re wanting something to eat that will warm you up during this chilly winter season, this Veggie Black Bean Chili is definitely the recipe to make! It’s easy to put together and healthy, too–with black beans, onion, garlic, green bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, green chiles, and corn. And I was happily surprised to find that I could find organic ingredients, even for the canned items, at the regular grocery store I go to. They’re starting to carry more organic items, which is great!

This chili is super thick and chunky with a lightly spicy flavor (if you don’t want any spiciness, leave out the crushed red pepper). The red wine vinegar gives it a little zing–I thought I’d use that instead of salt. I didn’t top my chili with anything, but you could garnish it with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, or some sliced green onions…or all three!

VEGGIE BLACK BEAN CHILI by NancyC

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium size green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • Optional: sour cream, cheddar cheese, and/or finely sliced green onion stems, for garnish

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute onion, garlic, and green bell pepper in oil over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, and red wine vinegar, then cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Add black beans, crushed tomatoes, water, green chilies, and corn; stir ingredients together, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chili is one of my favorite fall and winter dishes. And I love trying new chili recipes! Do you have a favorite chili recipe you like making?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Cucumber-Mint Water

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Now that it’s the new year, I know a lot of people who are trying to eat healthy and exercise away all that holiday food. And if you’re trying to get into a healthy routine, drinking lots of water is always a good idea. I actually made this particular pitcher of water at the end of last summer with some fresh mint I was growing in a large pot and some home-grown cucumbers my friend Mary gave me from her garden. I didn’t have a chance to post it back then but now, since it’s winter, you can just buy your cucumbers (use organic if you can) and fresh mint is usually available in the produce section at many stores, too.  The cucumber and mint lightly flavor the water in a soothing, refreshing way. If you like naturally-flavored water, you’ll want to try this out!

CUCUMBER-MINT WATER by NancyC

Makes 8 servings

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled or unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 large or 12 to 16 small fresh mint leaves

Put water in a gallon-size pitcher. Add sliced cucumbers and mint leaves and stir everything together. Place in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to chill. When ready to serve, add some ice to the pitcher or pour over ice in your glassware. The water usually keeps for several days if kept chilled in the refrigerator.

If you don’t have mint, you can just make cucumber water–that has a nice flavor, too. Mint by itself is also good in water.

I think water tastes so much better when it’s flavored with natural ingredients. Do you like to flavor your water too?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Egg Nog Mini Loaves

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Egg Nog is one of those foods that signal the beginning of the holiday season. I first noticed it this year in the grocery store about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I usually buy a few cartons during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and pretty much always have some left over after Christmas. Which is great, because it gives me an excuse to bake some egg nog goodies! Like these Egg Nog Mini Loaves, for example.

After having lots of super-sweet holiday treats, I was wanting something just a little sweet, and these little loaves turned out to be just the thing! They’re moist, slightly sweet, and have a mild egg nog flavor, so even those who aren’t crazy about egg nog may like them. These mini loaves rise really nicely, too (Note: I also tried making this recipe as a 9 x 5″ loaf, but since it sunk a little in the middle, I think it works best for mini loaves, and probably muffins, too).

If you’d like to sweeten these loaves up a little more, sprinkle on a dusting of powdered sugar after they’ve cooled or add an egg nog glaze on top (try the glaze that I used on these Egg Nog Muffins).

EGG NOG MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes three 5 x 3″ mini loaves

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg nog
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • Optional: Egg Nog Glaze

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour three 5 x 3″ mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In medium bowl, beat eggs, egg nog, yogurt, sugar, butter, and vanilla and rum extracts, blending well. Add this mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten.

Pour into prepared mini loaf pans. Bake at 350˚F for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 32 minutes).

Cool loaves for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. If desired, glaze with Egg Nog Glaze (click here for the recipe–I’ve used it before on some egg nog muffins).

As the holidays wind down, these Egg Nog Mini Loaves are the perfect treat with some coffee or tea. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday and wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge

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If you haven’t had the chance to use up your candy canes before or on Christmas, here’s a yummy sweet treat you can make with those leftover candy canes! This Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge is super-easy to make and the … Continue reading

Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

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After baking quite a few mini loaves for the holidays, I thought I’d try some muffins! I really like these muffins because they have dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped pecans, and lots of spices–they just seem perfect for this time of … Continue reading

Mini Fiesta Cups

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In my last post, I shared a recipe with you called Mini Cannoli Cups–a yummy bite-size dessert made with Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps. And I mentioned I’d be sharing another recipe that’s made with these wraps, so here it is! When … Continue reading

Mini Cannoli Cups

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Here’s an easy recipe I made with Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps. I had never used these wraps before, so I was interested in trying them out when I was offered some complimentary product from Nasoya® (they also provided a gift card to cover … Continue reading

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I hadn’t made anything with fresh cranberries yet this year, so I decided it was time to do something about that! Plus, I still needed to make more mini-loaves for holiday giving. My Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread turned out well, so … Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it for quite some time and I thought while I was at it, I’d make some mini-loaves too. Mini-loaves make great food gifts for the holidays, and just about everyone … Continue reading

10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup … Continue reading

Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie

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This time of year is sweet potato pie time! I’ve never made my own homemade sweet potato pie, so I decided this would be the year to do it. When I received some vouchers for complimentary products from the Sager Creek Vegetable Company recently, I … Continue reading

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

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We all know and love that Green Bean Casserole, don’t we? It’s so good, I’m not sure why I only make it at the holidays–there’s no reason why you couldn’t make it any time of the year, right? But it’s … Continue reading

Autumn Bouquets

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I am such a jar and bottle-saver! I save glass jars and bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was starting to get quite a collection and running out of space to put them, so I thought I’d make … Continue reading

7 Easy Fall Treats

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If you’re looking for ideas for sweet fall treats, here’s a roundup of some I’ve made before. They’re fun and colorful and very easy to make, which is a plus! Have fun trying some of these out! Candy” Corn Pay” … Continue reading